Workout top: GAP | Workout pants: Lululemon | Shoes: Nike (on sale in lots of colors!) | Hair tie: Invisibobble (no creases in your hair!!)| Earrings: Nordstrom (I wear these every day, even to work out!)
This post has been a LONG time coming. The twins are 11-months-old, and to be completely honest, I thought I would have been back to my pre-baby body months ago. That was before I had the twins. After delivering them on July 13, 2016 last year, I knew I had a long road of ahead of me in getting back into shape. One of the questions I get a lot from you guys is how I have lost weight since I had the babies, Here’s my story, and I hope to give you some tips that will make the road back to your healthy body an easier one!
I have always had to watch my weight my entire life. I was never the kid that could eat cookies and cake and not have to worry about gaining weight. My metabolism has always been a challenge, which I actually consider a blessing because I had to learn how to eat healthy from a young age which set me into good habits for my life. I danced in high school where I grew up in Texas, then when I moved to Utah to attend BYU, I started working out at the gym and found that to be a good way to stay fit. I always thought that when I got pregnant eventually, I work out and stay really fit during pregnancy. Then….I got pregnant with twins. That was a game changer.
I had bleeding when I was 13-weeks pregnant, so much so that I thought I was having a miscarriage. I found out why here, and needed to take my pregnancy more easy. I tried to work out once after the 4 weeks was over, but I felt so sick and so completely exhausted that I listened to my body and knew that I needed to rest. I found out I had preeclampsia (check out my unreal CANKLES!) so my doctor induced me at 32 weeks.
After I delivered the babies, my body was a wreck. I had been on magnesium to help prevent seizures due to the preeclampsia in the hospital which gives you flu-like symptoms. I was still completely and totally swollen, I had been stitched up “down there” and I could literally hardly walk because my thighs were so huge with swelling. On the night I got home, I made Tyler sit on a chair next to the shower because I didn’t want to be alone while I took my first shower in 3 days and I bawled like a baby. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror before I stepped into the shower and I didn’t even recognize myself. All of the emotions, hormones, major lack of sleep and pain of the last few days caught up to me and I let it all out. I was scared that my body would never be the same.
A few days later, my body was still retaining a major amount of water. My doctor didn’t want to give me a diuretic because it interferes with breastfeeding, but the water was staying put. I was huge and still so incredibly uncomfortable. He put me on a diuretic and after a few weeks of waking up at night in pools of sweat where my sheets, body and hair were literally drenched in sweat, the water finally went away and I could a resemblance of my old ankles. I was still 30 pounds overweight and I felt so skinny!! Looking back, I don’t think I look that thin, but I guess the benefit of gaining so much weight and then losing some of it is that you actually feel really good about yourself at first!
So…I still had 30 pounds of weight to lose. This was hard, because I was breastfeeding at first and I didn’t want to restrict too many calories because making enough milk for two babies was already hard enough. I was taking supplements and doing everything I could to keep up my supply, but I had to supplement the babies with formulas since they were preemie babies, so I was pumping, breastfeeding and bottle feeding around the clock and it started to take it’s toll. I was feeling like I was going crazy and I was exhausted. I went to the doctor to get my hormones check to make sure everything was going great, and the blood work came back that I had a “raging case of mono” as she called it. HUH?!
After I stopped breastfeeding, I started to focus on losing the weight more. Here’s how I did it!
- I tracked my calories using a free app called My Fitness Pal. I thought I had been eating healthy but this completely opened my eyes to how many calories I was actually consuming. This app is game changer!
- I worked out at the gym 3-4 times per week. This was great, and it helped a lot, but then I discovered Karve Studio Lindon and at the risk of sounding dramatic, it has changed my life. It really has. They said I would see results in my body within 8 workouts and I think it was less than that. I have gotten so much stronger and toned. The muscles are back in my legs! I have never in my life been able to do a normal push-up without putting my knees on the ground, and I can now. This is huge for me! This type of workout has given me so much confidence back. If you don’t live in Utah (I know many of you don’t), look up a “barre fitness” class near you.
- When I had about 5 pounds left to lose, I got stuck. I couldn’t seem to lose the rest and I was getting frustrated and didn’t have direction. I would cry to Tyler (literally) and tell him that I was so frustrated with the process and just wanted to get back to feeling great. I knew I needed some help, so I called Dan Wilcox from Elite Fueling, who is nutritionist that a couple of my friends have used and absolutely loved. I literally cannot sing his praises enough. He has a heart of gold and makes you feel empowered and really good about yourself. He is my teammate in losing weight. If I ever have a question, I simply text him and he texts me right back. When I started working with him a month ago, we jumped on a call and I told him about myself and what my goals were. He said, “this is going to be fun, sis.” And it has been! I don’t feel alone in my weight loss journey any more! His methods align perfectly with mine; he doesn’t believe in doing anything to the extreme or cutting out anything (like carbs, fat, etc). This can ruin your metabolism! I still eat almost everything I ate before, in moderation) and I have seen results. He can coach you over the phone, so no matter where you live, you can have him on your team. This has been one of the biggest supports for me in the losing the last of my weight. I only have about 2.5 pounds to go and I’ll get there within the next month! You can contact him by phone at 801-913-6563, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is not paying me to say this, I just think everyone who is struggling needs him because he has given me so much hope and confidence.
- I started taking Advantraslim to help curb my cravings and it really worked. I have people asked me in person, “really, did it really, truly work, Jenica?” YES! I don’t promote or suggest anything that I don’t think would genuinely benefit you. Here’s the run down; when I was approached to try Advantraslim, I was super cautious. The only way to lose weight is to cut down calories and exercise. There aren’t any shortcuts or easy ways to do it, BUT the more I learned about Advantraslim, the more I thought this was something I could use as a tool to help me cut down my calories. It’s natural and it’s safe and the owner of the company has the exact same views about losing weight as I do. I even talked with him on the phone about it to make sure before I tried it. Here’s how it works: The real function of Advantraslim is to support an individual with taking back the control with respect to limiting calories. It is not meant to be a weight loss product. Advantraslim’s main active ingredient is slendesta (all-natural) which is a potato protein that suppresses the appetite for 3-4 hours to limit snacking between meals. Most hardcore weight loss products fill you up with fiber making you feel bloated and a little sick in addition to adding in all kinds of stimulants to make your heart go faster to “burn” more calories. That is not their aim. Advantraslim helps limit calories by satiating your appetite, not filling you up with fiber. THIS MAKES SO MUCH SENSE TO ME! It truly does work, and I love that there are two versions. The first and original has caffeine in it which I take in the morning. If I took it in the afternoon, I would be up all night. It gives me a great boost to my workout. The caffeine-free version is the best to take in the afternoons when most of my strong cravings come. Use code Jenica50 at checkout here to get 50% off. Oh, and it also tastes really good and sweet!
- Losing weight is hard and it sucks. Period. You’re probably laughing right now, but that’s the best way to describe it! Here’s how I stayed motivated:When I would reach certain weight loss goals, I would reward myself with something that wasn’t food. Something that I wanted, but normally wouldn’t buy. Hello, Lululemon. Their pants are ridiculously expensive, but they are unreal comfortable and last for years. Fast & Free 7/8 TightIf you don’t have a pair of the , you’re missing out. Oh, my. They hold you in, are so cute, and hug you like you should be hugged. I also LOVE this pair. If your budget is smaller right now, try this pair from Old Navy. I have worn these for years and have been amazed the high quality for such a great price. This workout tank top from the GAP is my favorite top to workout in. Find something that you love and work towards it, then reward yourself when you reach those goals! It helps keep you motivated when you’re feeling like it’s too hard (which will be a lot…because it is really hard.)
- Have a buddy that you’re accountable to, someone that you really care about not disappointing or who may be on a weight- loss journey as well. For me, this was Dan Wilcox for the last 5 pounds. I wanted to prove to him and myself that I could follow the plan that he gave me. For me, it was best not have a family member be this person for me, because family members will love you no matter what. I needed someone who was going to be kind but expect results from me!
- Put up a quote that keeps you motivated or hang up a pair of pants or a swimming suit that you can see every day that you don’t fit in now, but that you want to fit in. I kept envisioning myself in a swimming suit for summer and wanting to feel confident and have my only thoughts be about having a fun with my kids and family in the sun, not about feeling self-conscious about my body. Buy something, like a swimming suit, in the size that you want to be! Look at it every single day. Here are some of my absolute favorites:
WHAT TO REMEMBER:
The most important thing to remember is that this is a process and that being consistent is KEY. I’m an impatient person. It gets so hard when you don’t see immediate results, but remember that they will come if you stay on track. Also give yourself some grace and remember that you’re not going to do this perfectly. You’re a human and you can eat a cookie and then go right back to eating right and not feel terrible! It’s all about making positive changes and small improvements.
You got this, sis. If I can do it, you can do it. It may have taken me a year, but I finally feel like my body has recovered and I really appreciate how much it has gone through to get my sweet babies here. It’s a gift and I’m so amazed at all that my body does! Eat right and get fit because you love your body. When you appreciate it and love it, it’s easier to take care of it and find an inner happiness.
Women are strong, amazing creatures. I love you, friends!
Photos by Caitlin Nicole Photography